Date: 8/26/11 - 8/27/11
Official Time: 27:59:17 (average pace of 8:24 per mile)
Place in Division: 10/39 (Womens Open)
Overall Place: 311/1268
I am 100% positive that this recap will not do justice to the experience that I had at Hood to Coast. In fact, I'm not even sure that I can accurately express how monumental the entire event is or how amazing the Nuun staff is. You have to experience it for yourself. The great parts were fantastic. The good parts were great. And the bad parts weren't really all that bad. Even the lack of sleep and real food weren't horrible. I'd do it all again, right this very instant, if given the opportunity.
Nuun: Not only did Nuun sponsor both Nuun Platuun and AfterNUUN Delite (think all race logistics taken care off, more Nuun than you could ever drink, wicked cute gear, etc), but the Nuun staff was AMAZING. They were friendly and welcoming, and at least in my van, put up with all of our crazy antics. I returned home wishing that Nuun was headquartered in Richmond, because it would be an awesome company to work for. (Note: I also wish that all my nuun-mates lived in Richmond. That would be EPIC.)
The numerous companies that hooked us up: In addition to Nuun, there were several other companies that showed Nuun Platuun some love. All of the SWAG we received, rocked my socks and it would be totally worth your while to check these fine companies out.
- Running Skirts
- Tommie Copper
- Moving Comfort
- GU Energy
- Jamba Juice
- Jenny Craig
- Jack Black Skin Care
My Nuun-mates: Wicked Awesome. That is all.
Spreading the Nuun Love: As Nuun Ambassadors, it was our job to spread the Nuun Love during the race. At the major exchanges, transitions and even Quiznos, we handed out samples, applied tattoos and informed our fellow athletes about Nuun and all of it's awesomeness.
And I LOVED EVERY SECOND of it. I was totally in my element. And I couldn't get enough. It made me realize that I need a job that lets me engage with other people while working with something that I truly believe in. So, Nuun, if you're looking for someone to run your Southeast Sample Team, give me a call.
My First Leg (#11): I lucked out on the timing of my legs, with my first run starting at sunset. Talk about beautiful. And although it was slightly warmer than I would have hoped, I crushed it. When I finished the mostly flat run, my Garmin read 38:14 for 4.87 miles (7:51 pace). A new 8K PR by 44 seconds.
My Second Leg (#23): This leg shouldn't really be in the "Good" category. It should be in the FREAKING AWESOME category. 4.14 miles of small rollers, hidden in the massive trees of the Pacific Northwest on a very crisp morning. It was the single most perfect run of my entire running career. I ran fast and hard and could have kept going. I finished the leg 31:47 after I took off (7:40 pace) and hit the 4 mile mark at 30:47, 1:26 faster than I'd ever run 4 miles before. I wish I could have bottled up that leg.
Our Driver/Coach, Casey: Fueled with endless energy (without caffeine, by the way), Casey drove our van, recorded our splits, kept us realistic and optimistic from start to finish, and tolerated all of our insanity (and trust me, we weren't tame) without a SINGLE SECOND of sleep.
And as if he wasn't already awesomesauce, with just about 3 miles left in my last leg, he jumped out of the van and helped me and my suffering quad make it to the exchange. Total rock star.
The Memories/Inside Jokes: There were so many moments that I want to share here, but it would be futile. Anyone outside of our van, or perhaps our team, wouldn't really "get" what happened or how hilarious the members of Nuun Platuun are (Note: We created new words and laughed until it hurt). But, I will say that I cherish EVERY SINGLE SECOND of this journey and would highly recommend that EVERYONE run a relay at some point. All of the "hard parts" are worth it.
The Weather: It was unseasonably warm. Like Virginia warm. Enough said.
My Disorganization: I am a little OCD. I pack and I repack. I rarely forget things. But the biggest mistake I made during Hood to Coast was not packing each outfit in Ziploc bags. I felt like I was constantly digging for and losing things.
Minimal Interaction: Going into this event, I assumed that both Nuun teams would be hanging out all the time. But, in actuality, I barely saw anyone from AfterNUUN delite and I didn't really get to spend a good amount of time with Van 1 of Nuun Platuun until the post-race party. It was one of those logistical things about relay races that I just didn't consider.
My Third Leg (#35): During my first wicked awesome leg, I tweaked my quad. THE QUAD. Immediately after, I said to Jess that I felt like I had pulled a lot harder with one leg than the other. I tried to loosen up the quad during our "rest" period, but when I started leg 2, it was still sore. But then, I crushed leg 2. Unfortunately, I also crushed my quad.
Seven hours later, when I was about to start my third leg, it hurt to get out of the van. I planned to run as strong as I could, but I didn't really know how it would go. The first 4 miles were great. I was averaging an 8:38 pace. And then the climbs came. And my quad failed. I ended up walk/running the next two miles, before Casey convinced me to push it to the finish.
I handed off to XL MIC, after 8 miles and 1:19:57. She ran to the finish line and I ran to the medic tent. (Note: I'm better. Not 100% better, but better than I was).
Missing the Finish: As soon as I got back from the medic tent, we headed out to try to make it to the beach to see XL MIC finish. We made it like half a mile and hit bumper-to-bumper traffic (something that occurred pretty much the whole race). It took us over two hours to make it the six miles to the beach. Such a bummer.
Our Van Guest: Don't ask. Let's just say, our "guest" was a total fail.
Thanks again to all of the wonderful people at Nuun for allowing me to be a part of this EPIC event. I've already got it marked down on my calendar for next year. I'm grandfathered in, right?